All posts tagged: Jonathan Thomson

Hong Kong in Transition 1995 – 2020 香港過渡(1995-2020年)

by Jonathan Thomson / Hong Kong in Transition 1995 – 2020: An open access photographic archive for anyone interested in Hong Kong and its history The word “monument” comes directly from the Latin monumentum, literally “something that reminds”, and is derived from monere: to remind. This etymology suggests a monument allows us to see the past in order to better visualise what might come in the future. The alternative, proposed by philosopher George Santayana, is that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. However, not all monuments are sculptural, and Hong Kong now has another, in the virtual archive of more than 40,000 photographs by Hong Kong photographer David Clarke that has been established as an adjunct to the Hong Kong Art Archive of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Clarke has been documenting and analysing Hong Kong’s transition beyond colonial rule in words and pictures, both as a professor of art history at the University of Hong Kong and as a …

Wong Wai Yin

Without Trying By Jonathan Thomson Conceptual art can be confusing because it is the art of ideas, and the form that a work takes can be almost anything. One fairly straightforward way of classifying conceptual art, though, is to look at how the ideas arise. There are two methods: when the artist thinks about how he or she can aestheticise an existing idea, thinking first about what it is they want to say and then contriving the best way to say it; and when new ideas are formed through the connections and relationships that are made when an object, action or event is realised. On this basis it could be argued that the best conceptual art starts with an idea, because the aestheticised idea will also gather about itself the new ideas that are created through its relationship with others; and that the most successful conceptual art speaks with the most poetic sensibility and garners the widest possible network of associations and new ideas. It’s rather like the difference between a midwife and a parent. A …